iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Gigabyte 8IEXP (i845E) Mainboard 

This is one of the first boards on the new Intel's chipset that we received, and it set a very high functional level that made us estimate the others without indulgence. 


  • Package of the standard design of the P4 Titan series; 
  • Documentation: user manual and brief installation manual - in English; 
  • Cables: 3 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket with 4 USB ports; 
  • Bracket with 3 IEEE1394 connectors; 
  • Bracket with SPDIF-Outs (Coaxial and TosLink);


  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • DirectX 8.1a; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • ITE GSM Editor; 
    • Norton Internet Security 2002; 
    • System Information Viewer; 
    • Gigabyte EasyTune 3; 
    • Gigabyte EasyTune 4; 
    • Gigabyte Face Wizard; 
    • Gigabyte Utility Manager; 
    • Gigabyte Management Tool; 
    • Gigabyte IA Panel. 

The layout is not perfect because of multiple integrated controllers: the audio-ins and IDE RAID connectors are too close to the PCI slots, an inserted video card creates difficulties in handling memory modules, and the row of connectors on the left edge do not allows using the last PCI slots comfortably. It's not difficult to reach the only jumper when the board is already installed. Its function is shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 7 capacitors of 2200 uF and 9 of 1200 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the Creative CT5880-DEC chip with a connector for front audio inputs/outputs, SPDIF, and with support for 4.1 audio systems; 
  • network controller based on the chipset's capabilities supporting 10Base-T/100Base-TX; 
  • IDE RAID controller on the Promise PDC20276 chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the ATA133 protocol; 
  • IEEE1394 bus controller on the VIA VT6306 chip. 
The Winbond W83L518D SmartI/O controller provides support for smart cards and flash cards of the SD and MS formats (the connectors are built in). 

The board incorporates the DualBIOS technology (second Flash EEPROM chip for a copy of the BIOS). 

Non-unsoldered connectors: none.

The system monitoring is supported by the ITE IT8712F-A chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, +3.3, +-5 and +-12 V, VBAT, +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor), and the board (a built-in sensor). 
There are 2 connectors for adjustable connection of fans and 2 for nonadjustable connection (one of them is connected to a fan on the north bridge's heatsink). 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI/ CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0/ 3 IEEE1394; dimensions - 305x245 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with: 

jumpers and switchesJumper to clear up the CMOS 
BIOS based on AwardBIOS 6.00PG from PhoenixSetup of memory timings+Top Performance
Setup of memory frequency+Auto, FSBx1.5, FSBx2,0
Setup of AGP bus- 
Setup of PCI bus- 
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses+PCI (AGP/2) = 33-50 in 1 MHz steps
Manual assignment of interrupts+ 
Changeable FSB frequency+100 - 355 in 1 MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier- 
Changeable core voltage+1.5 - 1.725 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage++0.1, +0.2, +0.3 V
Changeable chipset voltage- 
Changeable AGP bus voltage++0.1, +0.2, +0.3 V

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - BIOS F8a. 

The board boasts almost all existent controllers, not to mention the overclocking potential, - just imagine 355 MHz on the FSB bus! :) 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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